Gilas Pilipinas’ qualifying match against Indonesia this Sunday will push through according to the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).
FIBA executive director for Asia Hagop Khajirian said there’s no exceptional circumstances warranting the postponement of the first window game between the Philippines and Indonesia in Britama Arena in Jakarta.
“Indeed, as noted in the letter, there is no travel warning or ban of citizens or persons travelling from South Korea or the Philippines at this time,” Khajirian stated in the letter.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports of Indonesia asked Indonesia Basketball Association (IBA) to cancel the hosting of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifying match due to the threat of COVID-19 that has killed more than 1,800 around the world.
FIBA had earlier cancelled the Thursday match between Gilas and Thailand at the Smart Araneta Coliseum along with two other qualifying games.
But the world-governing basketball body said there’s still no threat of COVID-19 in Indonesia the reason why FIBA will not adhere to the request of the host country.
FIBA reminded IBA that there will be consequences if they will fail to fulfill their obligations as host of the qualifiers.
“Should IBA fail to adhere to its obligations, specifically through the failure to host the Games, it shall be liable to sanction in accordance to FIBA Internal Regulations,” stated in the letter.
“It must be underscored that refusal to play the Games would also result in a forfeit, along with the applicable penalties.”
Gilas interim coach Mark Dickel said the team is ready for the qualifying match and they leave on Friday for Jakarta.